A Fitbit for Your Website

Lo and behold, it’s that time of year again when we will soon be exhorted to compile our recurring yin/yang list of a) all the things we’ll stop doing in the year ahead (eat too much, drink too much, work too much, buy too much) and b) all the things we’ll do oodles more of (eat healthy food, exercise like a triathalete, spend time with loved ones, get outside, save money, read fiction, be grateful, write more, make stuff, etc.) You get the idea.

For most of us, I am sad to report that positive change will likely not come in the form of a magical champagne-fuelled personal transformation on the night of December 31st. We are by nature creatures of habit. By late February, when I’m enduring month four of the endless waterlogged night that constitutes winter in Vancouver, experience suggests I’ll likely be reaching for that late-night bowl of salt & vinegar potato chips. Again.

But despite that dour projection, improvement is not out of the realm of possibility. While the appeal of a dramatic “shazam” leap from point A to point B on whatever personal quest we’re undertaking has inherent appeal, it is more likely any enduring change will be the result of moderately nudging a habit (good or bad) in the right direction. And to tweak habits, we frequently turn to different monitoring/measuring tools.

Want to lose weight? Weight Watchers will have you stopping in for a weekly weigh-in (or recording it yourself online). Trying to get in shape? Fitbit, the Apple Watch, and a plethora of other activity trackers are there to help. Trying to save money? Apps like Mint are designed to help monitor your progress.

The common denominator is an increased focus on quantifying and measuring your efforts. As the old maxim goes, “what gets measured, gets done”.

As in life, so it is in marketing. There has been a very definite shift in the broader marketing world towards activities that are capable of quantification. That measurement drive will inevitably continue penetrate into the legal marketing realm as well.

So with that in mind, I thought I’d leave you with a new year’s resolution for your digital marketing efforts. Put a tracker on it. To my mind, the best starting point for the vast majority of law firms is Google Analytics. It is a free tool. It requires your website developer to insert a small piece of code into your website.

Google Analytics enables those so inclined to go very deep down the rabbit hole of data about what is happening on your website, but most lawyers will have neither the time nor inclination to get lost in the weeds on this stuff. A top-line summary will suffice to at least get you thinking more objectively about what your firm’s website is currently doing, which is the first step towards changing it for the better.

Whether or not you’ve already got Analytics installed, the next critical step is to schedule an automated report to arrive in your inbox at whatever frequency you prefer. (I’d recommend monthly as a starting point). Getting that periodic reminder is key. You (or your developer) can set up automated email reporting with a few clicks from directly within Analytics.

So, no wild promises of magical transformation this time out – just a simple suggestion for one extra email a month to help nudge your marketing efforts in the right direction over the year ahead.

My warmest wishes to you all for the holidays.

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